Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Tons of potential
on July 27, 2014
My Xbox has become an integral part of our family's living room. I get to play games. My wife gets to Skype with her family. And we don't have to worry about our toddler running away with the remotes since we don't have to use them anymore.
I do think it's a shame that Microsoft made so many sacrifices to create that experience. Load times are frustrating, and there's no way to upgrade the hard disk to a hybrid drive to speed things up. And to see games released on both the Xbox One and the PS4, and how much the PS4 dominates, is a tough pill to swallow. Would you rather have a game running in 60fps or 30fps? It's not even a question. It's a given.
It's going to be interesting to see how the next couple of years are going to pan out for the two consoles. If it's going to come down to games, the PS4 is going to make me regret my purchase--it's clearly a machine built for games, and aside from securing exclusive games, there's nothing Microsoft's marketing department can do to close that gap. But I'm really hoping that Microsoft can get all of its ducks in a row, and really explore fresh ways to make the Xbox a media hub.
A few of the things I love:
- Titanfall is an excellent game
- Using Skype with the Kinect is a magical experience, the way it pans to each speaker and follows you around the room is really awesome
- The Xbox controller is a joy to use. I don't feel any soreness in my hands when I play for long periods of time. All the buttons are where they're supposed to be, and I can just focus on the game.
- Xbox fitness is awesome and is a great example of what the Kinect can do. Being able to see yourself on screen with tips on how to correct form is an excellent experience.
A few things that I love/hate:
- Voice control is really a hit or miss, my success rate for turning on the Xbox is maybe 20%. It's especially embarassing when I have friends over and say, "Check this out...Xbox on" and nothing happens. It's also instantly frustrating when I ask it to change the channel, and it goes to the wrong one. I really wish it was more accurate. That said, still beats using remote.
- The system is underpowered. In a game like Titanfall, having to wait 20 seconds for each match to load is a joke. Seeing PS4 games run in 1080p at 60fps is depressing.
- The Kinect needs to be exploited. It's a fascinating device with a ton of unexplored potential. The Kinect should be what the Wiimote was for the original Wii, a real differentiator that transcends graphics performance.
- Getting a party together takes a lot of trial and error. The first time I tried to get two friends together to play a match on Titanfall took over half an hour. It was a terrible experience.
- The interface for Netflix is garbage. The system they came up with for browsing videos is really half-baked.
I know I've had quite a few negative things to say, but let me be clear, I don't regret my purchase. There's simply nothing like this on the market that combines gaming, media, physical activity, and virtual interaction like this on the planet. I really hope Microsoft continues to make each of these experiences inspiring and easy to use.